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Landslides claim five in Hills

Posted by Ramesh Khati on August 21, 2009

KURSEONG / GANGTOK, 20 AUG(The Statesman): Five persons were killed (three in the Darjeeling hills and two in Sikkim) in landslides triggered by heavy rainfall since last night.
While Dal Bahadur Rai (50) and his wife Sunita Rai alias Shanti Rai (47), residents of Tarsing Busty in Mirik, were buried in the debris when the hill side came tumbling down while they were sleeping in their home, the four-years-old Ashish Rai of Geetkolbong in Kalimpong sub-division was also killed by the landslide in that area.
Two persons were killed and 10 others were injured following a series of landslides and flashfloods triggered by incessant rains in Sombaria and Daramdin in west Sikkim since last night. According to the SDO, Soreng, Mr Bhim Thatal, Puspa Mani Pradhan and Sameer Subba died on the spot when flashfloods washed at least 10 houses and claimed a dozen cattles at Sombaria at 8.30 p.m. last evening.
According to MrThatal, several places between Sombaria and Daramdin were washed off, and rescue operation was underway. The BDO of Soreng, West district collector, Mr RB Subba, MLA of Daramdin, MrTenzi Sherpa and other officials visited the affected area today and took stock of the situation. A disaster management team is being brought in for rescue operations.
The landslides damaged a number of houses in the Kurseong sub-division. According to the Kurseong sub-division relief officer, Mrs Aasha Mukhia Lama, 70 houses were partially damaged in the Mirik municipal area.
“The administration has shifted 15 families to safer places,” she added. Mrs Mukhia Lama added that the landslides have affected areas under the Kurseong municipality in addition to 18 villages several roads and streams.
“Fifty houses have been wrecked and another 70 were partially damaged in the Kurseong sub-division. People are being shifted from the affected areas while some have preferred to lodge with relatives,” she said. Major cracks have appeared in the earth at the Upper Dumaram Busty near the St. Joseph’s Primary School in Kurseong. Sikkim too was cut off for few hours today after the National Highway 31 A was blocked following a landslide between Sevoke and Rambi near Siliguri. The Border Roads Organisation restored the highway later in the day.

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